Aerial Yoga is both young and old. Aerial Yoga as a discipline is a very young one and it blends techniques from hatha yoga, circus and ancient religious practice. However it has its roots stemming back centuries when Hindu Holymen were not allowed to touch the ground and used straps and slings as part of their practice.
Aerial Yoga as it is now, began to come about following the rise of silks with Claudette Vaudelles silks routines in December 1994 and has been developed in recent years specifically by people such as Rebekah Leach, Michelle Dortignac and Christopher Harrison.
Aerial yoga uses lots of moves from floor based yoga, but uses the hammock like a strap or a block to assist alignment, deepen awareness and provide the immediate benefit of spinal decompression. With the weight of the body supported, you can achieve postures that can takes years to learn otherwise. This particularly applies to inversions. Turning upside down generally makes people happy. There are no words to describe the freedom of being able to move through the air without touching the floor. Many people talk about the relief they get from back pain when we take pressure off the spine and give it space.
Aerial yoga is all about movement and finding new ways to move your body without the confines of gravity. It is versatile and can be adapted for hardcore conditioning or more gentle restorative practice.
Aerial yoga is growing in popularity as a fun alternative to yoga and also as a first step into aerial work as you develop the strength to life your own bodyweight without your feet ever being too far away from the floor. I had a 73 year old woman do aerial yoga today for her birthday. And have a Mum and baby class where we get Mums to work out in the hammock and then use it to play with the babies. Aerial Yoga really can be for everyone. Kids love it and we adapt the moves to have animal or superhero names and tell little stories in the hammock. The possibilities are endless!